ARCHIVED - Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2015-455
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Reference: Part 1 application posted on 30 October 2014
Ottawa, 6 October 2015
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Sydney, Nova Scotia
CBI Sydney – New FM transmitter in Sydney
The Commission approves an application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to operate an FM transmitter in Sydney, Nova Scotia, to rebroadcast the programming of the English-language radio station CBI Sydney.
- The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) filed an application to operate an FM transmitter in Sydney, Nova Scotia, to rebroadcast the programming of the English-language radio station CBI Sydney. The Commission received numerous interventions supporting the application.
- The transmitter would operate at 92.1 MHz (channel 221B1) with an average effective radiated power (ERP) of 6,540 watts (maximum ERP of 10,650 watts) and an effective height above average terrain of 122.8 metres.
- The CBC stated that the addition of the FM transmitter would address increasingly evident reception issues with CBI’s AM signal in downtown Sydney.
- When a licensee files an application to change its authorized contours, the Commission expects it to demonstrate a compelling technical or economic need justifying the proposed technical change. In light of this expectation, the Commission considers that the issues it must address are the following:
- Did the applicant demonstrate a compelling technical need for the proposed change?
- Did the applicant propose an appropriate technical solution?
- Would the proposed change make appropriate use of radio spectrum?
- In support of its application, the CBC stated that listeners in downtown Sydney were experiencing reception difficulties with CBI’s AM signal and that it had received numerous complaints to that effect. The CBC attributed its signal problems to the fact that AM signals do not have strong in-building penetration in urban environments.
- The CBC also provided a map showing that CBI’s night‑time pattern differs from its daytime pattern in that the night-time pattern directs the AM signal towards the northeast to protect other radio stations, resulting in a loss of reception in the area southwest of Sydney. The CBC argued that this problem is so severe that CBI’s Radio One morning programming is broadcast on its Radio 2 transmitter in Sydney from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on weekdays to properly serve the population of Sydney while the night-time pattern is still in effect.
- In light of the above, the Commission considers that the CBC has demonstrated a technical need for the proposed amendment.
- The CBC is proposing to co-locate its new transmitter at its existing CBI-FM (Radio 2) site south-east of Sydney. The CBC argued that this would enable it to provide an FM signal in downtown Sydney and provide coverage to areas that lose CBI’s signal during the night-time pattern change.
- The CBC further stated that it had no plans to shut down its existing AM service because replicating it would require the addition of two rebroadcasting sites, one in the South Haven area and one in Ingonish (northwest of Sydney).
- Given the preceding, the Commission considers that the proposal represents an appropriate technical solution to provide an improved signal to residents of Sydney and its surrounding areas.
Use of spectrum
- Given the non-commercial nature of Radio One and the availability of a number of frequencies to serve Sydney and the surrounding area, the Commission considers that the proposal to use 92.1 MHz in Sydney would have a negligible impact on frequency availability and represents an appropriate use of spectrum.
- In light of all of the above, the Commission approves the application by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the broadcasting licence for the English-language radio programming undertaking CBI Sydney to operate an FM transmitter in Sydney.
- Pursuant to section 22(1) of the Broadcasting Act, this authority will only be effective when the Department of Industry notifies the Commission that its technical requirements have been met and that a broadcasting certificate will be issued.
- The transmitter must be operational at the earliest possible date and in any event no later than 24 months from the date of this decision, unless a request for an extension of time is approved by the Commission before 6 October 2017. In order to ensure that such a request is processed in a timely manner, it should be submitted in writing at least 60 days before that date.
*This decision is to be appended to the licence.
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